MEAN OLE LION MEDIA Launches Lifestyle Podcast Platform with Brooklyn Rapper Yasiin Bey’s Mother “Umi”


MEAN OLE LION MEDIA, a content creation company, is pleased to announce that it has launched six lifestyle-based podcasts with seven additional podcasts slated for release in fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter 2021. Mean Ole Lion Media is owned and operated by radio programming veteran, Ken Johnson. 

The new podcast media production house officially launched on November 26, 2020 with the Umi Says podcast co-produced with Sunseeker Media and ETC Productions, hosted by the Mother of Grammy nominated Rapper, Actor and Hip-Hop Legend, Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), Sheron (Umi) Smith-bey. 

“My Umi said shine your light for the world to see.” This famous lyric from Yasiin Bey’s (formerly known as Mos Def) song, Umi Says, captures the essence and purpose of the podcast. Sheron (Umi) Smith-bey sits down with mothers of celebrity children, star athletes and over achievers to share stories and philosophies about how they nurtured and inspired their children’s excellence.  Umi says, “Grateful for this podcast to show love, appreciation and celebrate one another… let’s embrace our differences and allow us (your elders) to be your guide to greatness that is already within.”

Umi Says podcast is just one of six lifestyle-based podcasts that can be enjoyed from Mean Ole Lion Media. The production house will be offering a variety of content that focuses on serving the BIPOC community covering a gamut of categories from beauty, fashion and relationships to health, hospitality, and criminal justice. 

After working in all facets of terrestrial radio for over 30 years, Ken Johnson realizes that the way in which people access news and entertainment has evolved at a rapid pace. To serve what he saw as “New Media”, he combined his content development, talent coaching and operations management expertise to create Mean Ole Lion Media.

“I love content! Whether it’s a great sweep of music with perfect branding on a radio station, a well written TV show, an emotionally charged performance on screen or stage, or a great conversation on a podcast. I love it all.  I equally love finding fresh voices, and untapped aspects of well-known personalities. Podcasting still has that new car smell and I love driving them. I created my first digital content in 2007 and this venture is the tree from that seed.”

Ken Johnson has programmed multiple formats, Sports, Oldies, Urban, Urban AC, Jazz, and Gospel in several markets including Boston, Birmingham, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and parts of the Caribbean. In addition, he held the Director of Urban Programming post at ABC Radio Networks working with big name personalities such as Doug Banks and DeDe McGuire, Big Boy, and Brian McKnight and most recently as VP of Urban formats at Cumulus Media.

Umi Says podcast kicked off on Thanksgiving Day with Umi’s conversation with Talita Long, mother of actress, Nia Long.  Other guest celebrity mothers that will be featured in upcoming episodes of Umi Says podcast includes:

  • Bethann Hardison, mother of actor, Kadeem Hardison
  • Valerie Allen, mother of celebrity hair stylist and artist manager, George Fuller
  • Teresa Caldwell, mother of rapper, Shad Moss aka Bow Wow
  • Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, mother of late rapper, Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest
  • Thomasina “Honey” Atkins, mother of gospel duo, Mary Mary

The new podcast media production house will also kick off with the five podcasts outlined below:

Black Arm of the Law

Co-produced with Sunseeker Media and Carl Anthony Payne Entertainment. Hosted by NAACP Image Award nominated Actor, Carl Payne, from the hit TV show, Martin.

Move Podcast Magazine

A quick paced magazine style podcast for women on the move hosted and produced by former Tom Joyner Morning Show Producer, Nikki Woods.

Wardrobe Boss

Hosted by former A-List Celebrity stylist, Eliza Parrilla. 

Oh That’s Deep Black Women Conversations

Hosted by two HBCU college friends, one a Marketing Executive and the other a Physician.

Pregnancy Pearls

Hosted by Double Board Certified OBGYN and Women’s Health Advocate, Dr. Nicole Lee Plenty.


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